Assistant Adjudicator - Complaints Handling - OIA

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About the Office of Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

Our vision is that students are always treated fairly. We work towards this by resolving complaints from students, sharing learning from complaints to help improve policies and practices, and working with other organisations in the higher education sector and beyond.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) situation continues to have a serious impact across the country and in all sectors. The challenges facing higher education providers, current and future students, and student representative bodies are profound and the impact is likely to be long-lasting.

We are growing to meet the increased demand for our services and are looking for skilled people who share our passion for fairness and want to do worthwhile work that makes a difference.

About the role

As an Assistant Adjudicator (AA) you work as part of the team responsible for reviewing and resolving the more complex complaints that cannot easily be resolved.  Working independently, within a framework for guidance, you will typically seek to find the most effective path to resolve complaints.

Your work will provide important learning to improve the higher education experience for all students.


  • Manage a complex, varied and demanding caseload of complaints 
  • Obtain necessary documentation and information from students and providers and analyse information to identify the most appropriate route towards resolution.
  • Review complex and entrenched complaints and make decisions about their resolution, seeking guidance as required.
  • Contribute to the effective throughput of cases within the OIA’s case-handling process
  • Represent the OIA at external events and contribute in other ways of sharing good practice.
  • Contribute to the effective management of the OIA’s core asset, specialist knowledge, by following internal guidance on good practice in knowledge management, and sharing your knowledge appropriately with colleagues.

About you

You will be someone who:

  • Shares our values of integrity and independence, quality, openness and accessibility, service ethos, engagement, and equality and diversity.  
  • Has outstanding skills in logical, analytical and critical thinking. 
  • Can read and understand high volumes of text quickly, identify what information is relevant and evaluate evidence.  
  • Is comfortable making decisions which have a significant impact on other people’s lives.  
  • Can communicate clearly and concisely and explain decisions, both in writing and on the phone. 
  • Accepts that situations are sometimes uncertain and continues to strive for excellence despite this.
  • Sees things from other people’s perspectives, recognising and accounting for the barriers they might face.
  • Is aware of how decisions can be affected by unconscious bias and openly interrogates decision-making processes to minimise their impact.
  • Is able to make difficult or unpopular decisions when necessary.
  • Acts with integrity and treats others with kindness, courtesy, dignity and respect.

We would love to hear from you if you have one or more of the following:

  1. Can demonstrate the capability to look at problems and evidence with a critical eye, applying sound reasoning to reach logical decisions.
  2. Worked in a role resolving complaints, mediation or arbitration.
  3. Experience in representing or supporting students.
  4. Worked in a role applying legal principles outside the field of litigation.


Given our mission and purpose, we will consider any higher education qualifications, degree subjects or demonstrable interest/commitment to higher education in all its forms.

Salary and Benefits

  • Starting salary between £34,650 and £40,579 with career progression opportunities.
  • 35-hour working week; part-time working considered; opportunity for flexible working. 
  • Generous holiday entitlement of 28 days (rising to 33 days) plus bank holidays.
  • Gym membership (on completion of probation). 
  • Attractive pension scheme. 
  • Season ticket loan. 

To read the full job description please click here click here.

How to apply

Please submit your CV and a supporting application statement.

Your application statement should be up to 2 pages long (no more than 900 words), answering the following questions:

  1. What attracts you to work for the OIA and this specific role?
  2. How you would deal with a complaint where the evidence is conflicting or you have an incomplete picture?
  3. How do you balance high quality against time pressures and competing demands?

Additional Information

We are expecting a high volume of interest and may need to close applications without notice.  

Please apply as soon as you are able to.

Screening video/telephone interviews will take place with BAME Recruitment from the 4th January 2021.

We value diverse backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives, and have a supportive and inclusive organisational culture. We would like our organisation to be representative of our community and the people who use our service and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. In particular, we would welcome applicants from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds who are currently underrepresented amongst our people.  We will consider applications for full-time or part-time working and any other reasonable adjustments that you may need.

We are working with BAME Recruitment to support us in hiring this role.  If you have any questions, please contact Miguel De Palma,


Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!

Already working at BAME Recruitment & Consulting?

Let’s recruit together and find your next colleague.

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  • Caroline Gibson
  • Cressida Wyer
  • Cynthia V Davis
  • Eddie Kaziro
  • Enny Muyambuki
  • Luke Davis
  • Marcia Buxton
  • Miguel De Palma
  • Naomi Hanson

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